Why Am I Here?

leaf shadows

Elm leaf shadows on a misty window

The profound alienation I often feel has raised its faceless head again. It always comes on suddenly. This time the trigger was another couple our age, retired of course, who moved to Taos a few years ago and love the concerts, readings, and gallery openings… Just wait, I think. I never came for those, although we used to go to most. Now we don’t do anything but buy groceries and hike. Well aware of the great co-opted culture myth, a friend of mine once told me, “You know, John, all we really have here are the mountains.” He knew.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Rita November 24, 2018, 8:47 AM

    I get it. I have Oregon mountains that I love. A lot of us van dwellers go south in the winter but I am loath to leave my mountains. I have a spring where I fill my water jugs with raw water and one to soak in. I think I am home maybe like an old indigenous woman who knows she has moved camp for the last time.

    • JHF November 24, 2018, 3:04 PM

      I’d like to be “home” like that, but first we do have to move at least one more time. I was just looking at Montana DOT webcams, BTW. Holy God.

  • marti2013 November 24, 2018, 11:28 AM

    I came from mountains, grew up with mountains and didn’t come for the mountains although I don’t know how anyone can tell directions on a cloudy day without mountains. I came and stay for the lack of social classes. I could be a low income artist and hang out with the homeless and the rich and famous and nobody seemed to know the difference. I don’t know that this is still true because we don’t go out that much anymore.

    • JHF November 24, 2018, 3:13 PM

      I know what you mean about the (relative) lack of social classes. That’s how I felt at first. I think it’s changed, though.

  • Carmel Glover November 24, 2018, 5:47 PM

    I love that photo

  • S. R. Barrett November 25, 2018, 3:34 PM

    I’ve only lived here six months, but I can definitely see there are social classes in Taos. The thing is, we’re not required to buy into them. One of those classes is “everybody else.”

    • JHF November 25, 2018, 8:52 PM

      Welcome! What you say is true. We’ve been here almost 20 years. I’m finally ready to commit or run the hell away, and every year has felt like that.

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